weakboson wrote:The reason it's not equatable with grinding is that boss milking requires skill, strategy and the ability to execute it consistently. There's a lot at stake and often failure is always one wrong move away. You're not just selecting 'attack' from a menu all the time, you have to think and react to what's happening. You're not going out of your way to make the game easier, you're making it harder and the reward is the points you get. You seem to be assuming that all milking is just a matter of waiting for the boss to time out but that's rarely the case, at least in my experience. Even in DFK you have to think worry about keeping up your chain, when to recharge your hyper meter and how to dodge the attacks that you would normally bomb through. The problem is how long the bosses take to time out but that's not something that afflicts all games with boss milking, as you seem to suggest. Boss milking is just scoring on the boss. In games in which the whole purpose is to grapple with a scoring system and maximize your score, the games with boss fights that incorporate this successfully are the ones with the most intense fights. Just like stages can be made more interesting by scoring so too can boss fights. You go from mindless destruction to having more strategic game. It's a fallacy to say that 'all normal action/progression STOPS'. Progression stops when your score is no longer increasing - precisely what is not happening if you're milking a boss.
Obviously boss milking can be a bore but that doesn't mean it's always so, or that it's equatable to what is essentially the result of pacing issues in JRPGs. I just wanted to hear you say that wouldn't rule out a game just because it had some boss milking in which to be fair you almost did with MMP. But come to think of it you also shouldn't rule out games with bad milking in them. DFK is a great game with a great scoring system and unless you can already chain both loops then there's lots to do besides. It's strange that you should complain about 1.5 involving the 'sit perfectly still while enemy bullets hit your shots' strategy when actually the game is all about minimizing hyper use. It's in Black Label that you'll be camping in the corner to score. Anyway, my attitude is that if boss battles incorporate the game's scoring system or introduce some new mechanics or dynamics then, provided they're not boring or broken, that's OK with me.
The reason the "sit still" strategy works in 1.5 is because the bullet-cancelling increases your chain. I'm not sure I've EVER seen a replay where this strategy is never used. The player sits in one spot and attempts to allow enemies, particularly those helicoptery dudes, to continue firing into their attack stream as much as possible, thus gaining as much chain as possible. One way or another, to really get anywhere with scoring, you HAVE to use at least some hypers, and when in hyper mode, this is the fastest possible way to raise the chain. By NOT AIMING at things. Dead enemies can no longer fire bullets, and thus are worth much less.
As for milking goes, I've never seen milking outside of MMP (because of the repeated pattern increases) that honestly seemed more difficult than just fighting the boss. And even in MMP it's not so much hard, as it is just sorta obnoxious to do. If I *really* felt that milking increased the challenge, I'd likely do it, since a challenge is the one and only thing I'm usually after.... but every time without delay, milking merely provides me with great boredom and just makes me more impatient than I already am. And I'm sort of at negative patience to BEGIN with, so.....
One way or another I'll likely continue to rule out games that contain this mechanic. It's just like grinding... I've never ONCE seen it done to a point where it improves upon the game. MMP almost came close to coming close, but in the end it merely became annoying and time consuming.
Hell, that boss in 1.5, the second one, proves what I'm saying. I had a look at the technique there.... it's REALLY not difficult. At all. If you already know how to deal with the boss's patterns.... and it's only the second boss in a game that's not very hard to begin with.... having it just throw the same patterns at you again and again will not increase the challenge. It only lengthens the fight. And it doesnt matter even if it's a DIFFICULT boss. The bosses in the original Mushi Ultra.... those guys are hard, definitely. Very hard. But even them... I can defeat bosses 1, 3, and 4 without bombing, and if I had to milk those bosses, they.... honestly wouldnt get any harder. They start OUT hard as hell, yes. But milking merely repeats them, and I've done their patterns so many times I could do them in my sleep (no, seriously, WAY too much time spent playing that mode). And bosses 2 and 5? The technique simply wouldnt be used there. Boss 2 makes the game engine screwy (rapid slow-down and speed-up), and boss 5 is, well, boss number 5. Fortunately Mushi does not have boss milking. Or I've never seen it if it does, I never cared about the scoring in that game.
And by "progression" I mean the overall flow of the game. It's something that ALOT of developers have difficulty in getting right, but it's one of those intangibles that's important, and all of the REALLY great games have it, that "flow". The flow just STOPS during this sort of technique. A stage continues like normal, with you battling enemy ships/monsters/planes/whatever, flowing along normally, and then the boss appears.... what SHOULD be a climactic battle, by nature, becomes the afore-mentioned "running circles around an elephant" due to screwy design choices. It doesnt ruin the game, no.... but then neither does grinding totally destroy an RPG either. Neither of them HELP matters though. They ARE the same action though: Repeat a certain set of steps over and over until it's no longer possible/profitable to do so. And the comparison with turn-based RPGs.... remember, not all RPGs are turn based, but even the very actiony ones often contain grinding, and it pretty much never adds to the challenge in THOSE either, and stops the forward flow of the gameplay and story while you perform it.
And Black Label holds my attention because I only play in Strong mode; the one that gives the red warning when you choose it. Thus is the difference between it and 1.5 to me. I have no idea if people use some sort of camping trick in that mode for scoring. I'm just in it for the crazy difficulty and bullet patterns. I actually do end up with a pretty good score there, but that is merely a side-effect of playing that mode and getting a decent distance into it.
Regardless of all that stuff about the milking though, the fact remains that even if it was a super duper idea, I'd still refuse to do it. It just takes too bloody long. Even WATCHING it makes me wanna snap the controller in half. It's THAT damn irritating. And in pretty much every game that contains it, you HAVE to do it if you want to make a good, competetive score, well... I just drop those games and move onto something that wont drive me up the wall.
And that's why nothing will ever convince me of this one. Because regardless of how it's implemented, it TAKES TOO LONG. I just dont have.... any patience whatsoever.
At least I'm honest about that fact though, heh.
EDIT: ANd I apologize if this doesnt make much sense, or seems even more disjointed than usual. I'm about to go to bed here and the cyclobenzadrine (is like Valium) starts to kick in around this time.